Who doesn’t love space operas? I know the most recent one that comes to mind, is the Syfy miniseries, Ascension, which was a mildly entertaining attempt at a melding of genres. Other than that, the most famous like Star Wars and Star Trek, come to mind also you can’t mentioned the space opera genre, without talking about Robotech. My favorite one is, of course, Battlestar Galactica, as it not only had murder mysteries and world take over conspiracies, rampant throughout, but it also was about the characters, and their relationships with each other. The other one, that comes to mind, that will forever have a place in my heart is Firefly, which had elements of the western, post war conditions, and heist movies all rolled into one.
I always wondered if we could have seen Malcolm and Zoe (Firefly), back in their military days during the civil war in space, what kind of people they would have been. I also wondered Battlestar Galactica: Blood and Chrome, had continued, what experiences Bill Adama went through as a young pilot, which made him into the proven leader he became in original series. The miniseries by Denis Bajram, Universal War One, is a space opera that gives a new meaning to high stakes drama and had a lot going on as far as plot goes, in a good way. When it was originally published in English by Marvel, it lacked the punch; I was expecting from something so highly touted. Then I read, Titan’s version of the book, which according, to their website, was the most faithful to the original French graphic novel.
For newcomers, the story is about the colonization of the solar system, where its resources are being utilized by the CIC (Colonization Industrial Companies) for Earth, which represents the corporate side and The United Earth Force, which is the military side of the newly united planet. The affiliation between the UEF and the CIC , starts to break, with the rise of miners’ riots military interdictions and the mysterious appears and deploys their Purgatory Squadron, a rag tag unit of soldiers who all committed crimes and are in the unit as a punishment , as their mission is to patrol the Wall. This is where the action and the mystery begin through the major battles and events of the First Universal War, they start solving the mystery of “the Wall” and how the CIC is involved in all of this.
The story comes off like a cross between the Dirty Dozen and Starship Troopers, as once the action starts, it becomes relentless, and so does the plot. The story by Bajram is a beautiful amalgam of some of the most memorable space operas of recent memory and brings to the forefront why so many people love military science fiction. The art by Bajram is flawless, as his backgrounds never take away from the character designs, as both stand on their own. Overall, a story that has been panned by many critics, but for this writer, I was engrossed in the mystery as any reader should be.
Universal War One hits shelves September 30.
Story: Denis Bajram Art: Denis Bajram
Story: 10 Art: 10 Overall: 10 Recommendation: Buy
Titan Comics provided Graphic Policy with a FREE copy for review